CRETE… By Kirsty Leggatt

by Susannah Grant posted on 26 May 2015

Hi Everyone,

I have to apologise for not posting anything last week. I’ve just finished my final edits for my latest novel and my publisher had me on a strict deadline! Thankfully, now my time is my own — for the moment at least.

This week I’ve visited Crete and I’m delighted to share my experiences with you all.

I have to say — Crete is amazing! I’ve posted before about how much I adore Greece and Crete is another little of slice of heaven. This was our first visit and we will be returning!

The weather was lovely — hot but not too hot and I suggest that May is a good time of year to visit. It’s before the real tourist rush in summer and the temperature is quite pleasant.

We stayed in Chania (pronounced Hania). This is a lovely town close to the port and has a beautiful old section with markets and loads of traditional tabernas. There are numerous beaches that boast fabulous seafood restaurants where you can choose your shellfish from the catch that morning.

Crete
Crete

My husband and I attended a memorial ceremony for The Holy Monastery of Preveli. This is a beautiful monastery nestled in the mountains of Crete. The Monastery Abbott during The Battle of Crete assisted and provided shelter for hundreds of soldiers.  After the ceremony we were treated by the monks to a lovely meal starting with Cretan spinach pies and raw artichoke marinated in lemon juice and ending with raki (a traditional Cretan spirit). We ate as a large group around a long table, overlooking the sea, in the courtyard of the monastery — a truly memorable experience. The Holy Monastery of Preveli is open for tours and has a museum, which features a collection of unique paintings from the original monastery. They also have a cute little animal zoo that will appeal to children and adults alike.

Rethymno is also a fabulous town to visit. It too has a lovely old area where you can wander around and sample the traditional Cretan food or perhaps stop at a workshop for a demonstration of a handmade lyra. Rethymno has a number of seafood restaurants overlooking their harbour with that day’s catch displayed proudly in the windows.

The Cretan food is delicious and the restauranteurs, very hospitable. You must try the cheese pies drizzled with honey! The local liqueur, raki will be given at the end of every meal, usually with a small sweet.

The Cretan people are friendly and gregarious and Crete truly is a beautiful island. It’s large — nearly 300 km in length, so it offers a number of different towns and special places to visit and I highly recommend it!

Old town
Old town
Preveli Monastery
Preveli Monastery